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Top Tips for Creating Mutually Beneficial Business Partnerships

Partnerships, like most personal relationships, are not easy, but with the right care and “feeding,” they can grow your organization’s success exponentially. Partnerships in education are particularly beneficial and produce a win-win outcome, as businesses give back to their communities and students gain real-world training and potential employment opportunities.

Below are 5 key tips to keep in mind as you grow your network of partners.

Make sure you understand the commitment level of a potential partner. Setting expectations at the very beginning of a business partnership will ensure both parties that they will benefit from the relationship.

Make an Effort.
It is one thing to develop a partnership, but to maintain it successfully, you must make a noticeable effort. Partners are not solely there for when you “need” something. Making plans to attend community events (chamber of commerce meetings, etc.) to meet local business and community leaders is one great way to show that you are invested.

It should be made entirely clear to all parties what the purpose and overarching goals of the partnership is – there must be a strategic fit between them. Start this process by surveying students, teachers and administrators to garner feedback on your school’s needs and how a business partner can help. Then, develop a benefits/value position check list detailing their benefits from a partnership with your school (workforce-ready students, dedicated staff, program alignment with industry, etc.). Once they say “YES,” draft a Partnership Agreement with clearly defined goals and expectations to be reviewed and evaluated annually. Include all that apply – internships, externships (for teachers), guest speakers, career fair participants, mentoring, tutoring – and listen to what the business may want and add to the list.

Not all businesses will be a good fit. If a business’ values and needs don’t align with your school’s, remember that it’s OK to step away and keep looking.

Create a method for communication so that each party is motivated to share input. Check in often by sending newsletters, e-blasts and emails and let them know how things are going. It is also important to be honest about the things that turn out well and the things that could be improved. Discuss your mistakes so that both parties may learn from them and find resolutions to move forward successfully.


Having a network of business partners can be a great way to grow if roles are clearly defined, both are committed and communication flows both ways. You need complementary values, overarching goals and strengths to make it work, but the benefits are endless.

Vibing with Your Vendors: Top 10 Tips

Kicking off a new project on behalf of your client is always an exciting time, and imagining how happy your client is going to be with the finished project is motivation at its finest. However, working with numerous vendors and suppliers to get the job done can lead to a disorganized mess if you aren’t careful. Whether you are communicating with your trusted printer whom you’ve worked with for years or a brand new graphic designer, when you take on the role of the customer it is important to remember that communication is the key to success.

Here are our top 10 tips and tricks for establishing and maintaining a lasting relationship with your suppliers:

Come Prepared. It is important to be well informed of your client’s budget, timeline and expectations before initiating a new project with your vendor. The more information you can provide up front, the better.

Be a Straight Shooter. Don’t hesitate to take the lead and set the tone for the project, but always remember to remain honest and kind to your vendors.

Ask Questions. Acknowledge the expertise of your vendors and welcome their input. Often times, their suggestions can help to elevate your project even more.

Call-Backs Are OK. When you ask a vendor a question that they do not have the answer to at the time, give them the opportunity to find out and get back to you. Accurate information is more important than an unsure answer.

Discuss Invoicing Early. Be honest with your vendors about when you pay bills, and whether your supplier is to bill you or your client directly. Give them as much time as possible in advance to prepare their billing.

Set Expectations. Help your vendors by openly discussing your expectations for the project, such as establishing a clear timeline.

Address Issues. If something went wrong with the finished product, an experienced vendor will want to know about it. Give yourself some time to collect your thoughts before sharing with your vendor how they could have improved.

Be Realistic. Don’t ask your vendors to complete impossible tasks by making your emergency their emergency. If your vendor typically has a turnaround time of 7-10 days, don’t be upset when they cannot complete an order in 1 day.

Return Calls/E-mails. Be sure to respond to your vendor in a timely manner. If you get back to them quickly, they will return the favor.

Say Thank You! After the final product is produced, always let your vendors know how much you appreciate their work.

H&A Ranked #10 in List of Top San Diego PR Firms

Heying & Associates has landed a spot in San Diego Business Journal’s list of top 10 Public Relations Agencies in the area for 2018. Announced just after the New Year, H&A has jumped three spots ahead from last year’s list, and five spots ahead from the 2017 rankings. SDBJ provides its readers with hundreds of the greatest area companies in their fields by ranking each year.

To learn more about the San Diego Business Journal’s Book of Lists, click here.

Instagram Puts Stop to Fake Followers, Comments and Likes

In an attempt to put an end to automated apps that help users artificially grow their followers, Instagram is sending a warning to those users to change their password and cut ties with the inauthentic follows. Several techniques used to give the illusion that audiences are larger than they actually are include fake likes and comments, and following then unfollowing others in an attempt to get a “follow back.”

Utilizing a machine learning tool, Instagram will begin identifying accounts that use these third-party apps, which directly violates its Community Guidelines and Terms of Use.

21st Annual Garfield Thanksgiving Luncheon

Congratulations to Garfield High School on another successful Thanksgiving Luncheon at the Prado. Each year Garfield Culinary Arts students work alongside the Prado chefs and banquet staff to put on a grand Thanksgiving luncheon for the community, generously sponsored by the Garfield High School Foundation and Cohn Restaurant Group. Garfield High School works to prepare all their students to graduate with the skills, motivation, curiosity and resilience to succeed in their choice of college and career in order to lead and participate in the society of tomorrow.

5 Mistakes Law Firms Make When Advertising Online

When it comes to Google Advertising, the competition is big and the pressure for results is high. Law firms can spend anywhere from $10 to over $500 per click so the key is to focus your marketing dollars in the areas closely aligned with your expertise and with the highest profits. Let’s go over the major mistakes most law firms are making with Google Advertising:

Unfocused Campaign and Keyword Strategy.

Most law firms would say that their practice area covers a little bit of everything. However, trying to advertise that on Google when your marketing budget is limited won’t work. Clicks are too expensive, and you will end up spreading your budget too thin to excel in any specific area. The first step to avoid this mistake is answering the question: What types of cases produce the most revenue for your firm? Or, what area of practice would you like to expand this year? Stick to effective advertising in one or two areas of practice before trying to expand too quickly. Furthermore, it is important to target keywords that show “buying” intent. The more general the keyword, the less buying intent you can assume.

Not Writing Effective Content.

The biggest mistake law firms make when writing ads is not writing to be noticed. The worst ad is the one people skim right by while clicking on the competitor. Here are some tips to stand out:

  • Include parentheses, brackets and numbers in your headlines
  • Mention specific offers or discounts
  • Utilize testimonials or direct quotes
  • Create a call to action for your audience
  • Keep your ads local and individualized to target specific cities
  • Advertise how you can help

Not Having Consistent and Compelling Landing Pages.

A compelling ad is what gets your potential client in the door. Then, the first thing the user sees after clicking an ad is your landing page, and it will be the first real impression they will have of your practice. Many law firms link their ads to their website homepages, but did the user search for everything you have to offer? No! They searched for a specific service they are looking for and they don’t want to waste time looking at all the other services. Here are some techniques for making sure your landing pages are designed to convert visitors into clients:

  • Focus on the benefits you provide clients
  • Have a strong headline that demonstrates your values immediately
  • Differentiate yourself from competitors and explain clearly what sets you apart
  • Include positive client testimonials
  • Make contact information easy to find

Not Tracking Leads Through to Actual Cases.

Your law firm should know how many of your clients came from a Google ad click and how much revenue your Paid search accounted for. This information is absolutely critical to making optimizations that make a difference, but most law firms can’t answer those questions.

Not Testing for Viability and Optimizing for Profitability.

Law firms often want to start by bidding on a wide range of keywords with low bids, so they can learn which areas are profitable before committing more budget. However, this approach can actually ensure that no specific keywords get enough traffic to learn anything useful, so firms conclude that advertising doesn’t work for them and give up. The best way is testing for viability and then optimizing for profitability. Focus on a very small core of keywords to begin with and bid for the top spot on the search results page. It will allow you to quickly test whether or not a keyword can actually produce the types of leads you want for your practice.

If your law firm steers clear of these 5 “DON’Ts,” your campaigns will create a bigger impact on potential clients than your competition – for less money!